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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 124 ..


MR HIRD: Accrual accounting-it is more a case of cruel accounting on the other side of the chamber. Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Can the Chief Minister advise the parliament what indicators like the ANZ job advertisement statistics and the Morgan Banks job index show about likely employment trends within the territory in the short term?

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Hird for that interesting question. I am sure members of this place have seen the press release issued in the public arena in the last few days by Morgan and Banks. It is a very interesting release. Morgan and Banks are not on our payroll. The heading of the media release is "ACT job market on the boil!!! The No 1 job state in the nation". I understand that Morgan and Banks are well regarded in that field.

Mr Hargreaves: Through the taxation department.

MR HUMPHRIES: I am sure that you have quoted them at some stage in the past so if they have been good enough to quote in the past they are good enough today. They have commented for many years on these-

Mr Stanhope: A bit like the Productivity Commission report.

MR SPEAKER: Order, please. Mr Hird has asked a question.

MR HUMPHRIES: This is a reliable commentary on the ACT position and I think it needs to be taken very seriously.

Mr Speaker, 29.8 per cent of companies based in Australia intend to take on more staff in the immediate future-that is the next quarter. In the ACT that figure is 35.8 per cent. So in the ACT 6.7 per cent more companies than the national average are prepared to take on more staff in course of the next quarter. Also, 431/2 per cent of all ACT employers intend to take on more staff in the next three months and only 7.7 per cent thought that they would reduce staff. Leading the private sector is the telecommunications sector, 90 per cent of whose employers indicate that they are intending to take on more employees in the course of the next quarter.

It always astonishes me what long faces and what disinterest is shown by those opposite when those sorts of figures hit the deck. You start reading those figures out and the shadow Treasurer and the leader and other members of the opposition chose to leave the chamber. It says a lot about the way these people think. Every time we get good unemployment figures these people mope around with long faces as if this is some sort of devastating show of doom. Forget about the poor sods out there who have not got jobs. They are more concerned about the political capital they can make out of jobs being lost in the ACT.

Mr Stanhope: How many full-time jobs did we lose in Canberra?

Mr Berry: How many full-time jobs went, Gary? Tell us. Where is your plan to deal with it? Where is your press release?

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